Torrance Refining Company LLC (TORC), in partnership with the Torrance Unified School District (TUSD), hosted a teacher recognition event on June 7 at its Torrance Refinery to showcase demonstrations of innovative curriculum funded by the company. TORC awarded a total of $100,000 in teacher grants this school year to 38 teachers in the district.

The Torrance Refining Company Innovation Education Grant Program provided funding to enhance classroom curriculum in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, commonly known as STEAM. To qualify for a grant, teachers were required to show a direct link to Design Thinking techniques while incorporating Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards into their curriculum.

“The Torrance community places a high priority on education, and so do we,” said Refinery Manager Steve Steach. “In our refinery environment we experience the value of design thinking daily. Our employees were eager to encourage students to learn using techniques that will help them solve problems through real-world application and support the teachers who can make that happen.”

A grant selection committee comprised of Torrance Refinery employees selected the winning grant proposals from a total of 39 applications.

In addition to teachers and their students, the selection committee members, TUSD school administrators, elected and city officials, and company representatives attended the fun event to congratulate the grant recipients and experience the creative programs made possible by TORC.